Special Education

Serving children with special needs requires an individualized approach. We provide the training and support to help SPED educators ensure their students receive appropriate services and accommodations.

Services to Disabled Children

IU9 provides contracted special education programs and services to 14 of our member school districts. These services include learning support, life skills support, autistic support, and emotional support classes. Additional program services include speech/language support, vision support, hearing support, and counseling. We also coordinate occupational and physical therapy services through our special education program.

What We Provide

We provide staff and program supervision as well as psychological services at each level of support.

In addition to program staff, the equivalent of one full-time person is responsible for transportation and to process payments for contractors to deliver transportation services to special education and early intervention students throughout the IU as well as six part-time bus aides.

Core Services

Our core services include administering special education programs operated by IU9, providing and maintaining central and satellite office space for all services, assisting school districts to implement and operate special education and comply with laws and regulations, and assisting the state to implement initiatives.

Behavior Support

Behavior Support provides many services including consulting with parent and teacher teams about individual student behavior intervention plans, helping schools develop school-wide behavior support systems, conducting school in-services, and providing parent workshops and a lending library of resources. Other service options include the following:

  • Facilitation and support with School-Wide Information System (SWIS)
  • Technical assistance and training for School-Wide Positive Behavior support
  • Technical assistance and training to support Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for students with autism and other developmental disabilities  
  • Technical assistance and training for emotional support programs
  • Safety Care training
  • Assistance with Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Development of Behavior Intervention Plans
  • Monitoring of student progress
  • Revision of behavior plans as needed

Behavior Support Team

Seneca Highland IU9’s Behavior Support Team is a team of educational professionals focused on providing school districts and early intervention programs with supports and services for students exhibiting behaviors in the educational setting. Our team is available for observation, consultation, and development of interventions, behavior plans, and Functional Behavioral Assessments, as well as training for staff in the educational setting. A referral form will need to be completed and submitted to the behavior team at behaviorteam@iu9.org. Once this form is received, a member of our team will reach out to obtain additional information.

Team Members:

  • Julia Anderson-Director of Special Education
  • Whitly Breakey-School Psychologist
  • Joshua Consider-School Psychologist
  • Amy Jacob-EI Supervisor
  • Chris Macaluso-Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Nicole Meyer-TaC
  • Ashley Olson-TaC
  • Carrie Onuffer-Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Alex Parson-School Psychologist
  • Steve Wolfe-TaC

Community-Based Vocational Instruction

Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI) is an educational program administered through Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit IX providing services to Elk, Cameron, McKean, and Potter counties. The CBVI program affords students with disabilities an opportunity to receive vocational training in real-life environments. Specifically, we provide experiences to students in secondary life skills classes (ages 14–21) in a variety of vocational settings within their local communities. We use the information gathered during CBVI activities to strengthen a student’s occupational interests and abilities and assist in the completion of their post-secondary transition goals.

CBVI Training Components
Specific Services & Activities by Age

Diagnostic and Assessment

This program provides diagnostic and assessment services for all public and nonpublic schools in Cameron, Elk, McKean, and Potter counties to determine student disability.

Free and Appropriate Education in the Least Restrictive Environment

Successful inclusive education of students who have IEPs involves the use of appropriate supports and services necessary to participate in and benefit from both the general classroom setting and other natural environments. We offer technical assistance to schools and families for students with disabilities ages three to 21 beginning with pre-referral screening and proceeding with options that may include the following:

  • Activities to gain parent participation
  • Curriculum-based assessment
  • Curriculum intervention strategies
  • Data reporting systems
  • Observation techniques
  • Team collaboration
  • Tools for effective instruction

    Training and Consultation Services (TaC)

    IU9 provides educational specialists to provide technical assistance and professional development in presentation, interpretation, and implementation of all phases of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These services are subsidized by IDEA Component II Funds. Learn more about services provided by our Training and Consultation (TaC) Team.